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Russell Group urged to improve access for care leavers

The low numbers of students who have been in care and are attending highly selective universities should act as a “wake-up call”, a researcher has said.

Students who have been in care at some point in their lives are “substantially under-represented” at the Russell Group of 24 research-intensive universities but over-represented at post-1992 institutions, according to research by Neil Harrison, deputy director of the Rees Centre at the department of education, University of Oxford.

Looking at three different datasets on the destinations of care leavers, Harrison found that although more are entering higher education than previously thought, they are going to university later than other students, achieving lower qualifications and attending lower-tariff institutions. While 11 per cent of full-time, care-experienced students attended a Russell Group university, 76 per cent enrolled at a post-1992 university or college.

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